Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Orencia Three Months In

I am just one day away from my fourth Orencia infusion and while I am doing better, I must admit I'm nowhere near pain free. I wasn't expecting to be completely pain free prior to starting Orencia, but after reading what several people said about how well it worked for them, I think that I may have gotten my hopes up a little too high. There are several pluses for Orencia along with a few minuses. So here is how I feel to date after being on Orencia for nearly three month's.

Positives
1) I no longer have to give myself two shots a week now.
2) My feet feel better for longer periods now.
3) I am able to ride longer distances on my motorcycle with less pain than pre-Orencia days.
4) Overall, my hands seem to have less swelling, although they still hurt.
5) Less pain has encouraged me to start working out again at the gym.
6) Fatigue is not gone, but seems to be better after starting on Orencia.

Negatives
1) I am not pain free.
2) Although my feet are better, they hurt badly after standing on them for extended periods.
3) My hands and fingers still hurt considerably.
4) After sitting for an extended period, it is still quite painful to stand up.
5) My hip still hurts too much to be able to ride my mountain bike.

Do you think it is wrong for us to wish to be pain free? In retrospect, I wasn't expecting a miracle drug to just come in and take all of the pain away, but it would have been nice. Overall I am feeling better and am glad I made the switch to Orencia, but I am still disappointed with some of the outcome.

4 comments:

andrew said...

Glad to hear of positive outcomes for you. Like you, I've debated how much to expect from these high class medications. While I dream of being pain free and without any symptoms at all, maybe we should be happy with a reduction in symptoms, more energy, etc.

Hoping that Orencia continues to help your RA!
Andrew

tharr said...

Andrew, you're so right. I meant to add that in and forgot it, so here goes: "Any relief from the pain is good".

Thanks

rheumablog said...

This really is hard. Naturally we get excited and hopeful when a new drug promises to make us feel so much better, and we've heard of others who've had success with it. So when the "better" is limited, and there's still a lot of pain, no wonder it's disappointing.

I'm glad that the Orencia is helping at least some, Terry. Maybe after a longer trial period, it will help more. That's the thing about RA -- all we can do is keep hoping while simply getting through day by day.

I hope you'll continue to feel better, bit by bit. Keep us posted, will you? I've not taken any of the biologics yet ... and of course, I have hope too.

-Wren

Living It, Loving It said...

I also think about being pain-free. I just don't know how realistic it is. I could also go without all the fatigue. I yawn all day no matter how much sleep I get.

I am glad that Orencia is giving you some relief. I am optimistic about Humira, but I guessw time will tell.